Current trends in the management of aspen and mixed aspen forests for sustainable production

A. J. David, J. C. Zasada, D. W. Gilmore, S. M. Landhäusser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) is a remarkable species that performs several significant ecological roles throughout its range while at the same time is facing ever-increasing harvesting pressure. Although its full product potential remains untapped, aspen utilization has increased noticeably in the past 15 years as it has become a desired species for engineered wood products such as oriented strand board, and a preferred hardwood in the production of high quality pulp and paper products. Concurrent with this increase in aspen utilization has been an increase in the importance of ecological concepts in forest management. Any new silvicultural concepts in aspen management designed to address these ecological concepts must be grounded in the silvics and life history traits of the species. Here we present three trends in aspen management; aspen retention, a renewed interest in aspen thinning, and the advent of cut-to-length (CTL) harvesters that allow forest managers to address these considerations by capitalizing on aspen's unique characteristics. Finally, we discuss traditional harvesting methods and these trends in the context of their genetic implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-532
Number of pages8
JournalForestry Chronicle
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Aspen management
  • Cut-to-length harvesting
  • Genetic diversity
  • Genetic variation
  • Retention
  • Thinning


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